by Mike Keating on Friday, 14th of November 2014
Mahatma Ghandi once made the now famous comment in the middle of his resistance to the cruel apartheid regime:
“The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states.”
It really does point to the reality that true freedom has nothing to do with iron bars and prison walls. It really is about the inner state. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” John 8:32.
I currently have the privilege as serving as the Chair person for Teen Challenge WA which provides an outstanding ministry to troubled young people whose lives have been destroyed by drugs and alcohol. The “motto” for the program is FREEDOM and SUCCESS.
I am somewhat amused by secular people who look at this with some disbelief. How can learning about the Bible, and becoming a Christian have anything to do with freedom and success. Well, the answer is this.
True freedom is not the ability to do anything you want to do. This inevitably produces a life of pleasure seeking that leads to a small, lonely, miserable existence. Real freedom is the ability to do what you should do.
A person who is addicted to drugs is in bondage to drugs. They are chained to a cycle of use and abuse that destroys the individual and the people around them. They are NOT free to say NO!
The freedom that Jesus offers is that which empowers us to do the loving thing, the right thing, the pure thing, and faithful thing.
The philosopher Rousseau observed these now famous words:
"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” and he asks the question “why?”
Until we have given over our lives in trusting Jesus as our Lord and Master, we will be doomed to the slavery of selfishness. In following Jesus, we are given the power to not always be right, to not always be rich, to not always be in control, to not always be happy, but we will have learned the secret of being content in every situation (Phil. 4:11).
This is a great little video on the struggle of overcoming in life.
- Ps Mike